Shane Beatty will be heading up a newly-configured coaching staff when the Okanagan Sun takes to the field for the 2015 B.C. Football Conference season.
In addition to serving as head coach for third year in a row, Beatty will take on the duties as the club’s offensive co-ordinator for the first time.
On too many occasions in 2014, particularly in key games against the league’s top teams, Beatty said the Sun offense fell short of expectations.
“I wasn’t happy with the results (last season) on offense,” said Beatty. “We’re going to be looking for more consistency, we’ll have a lot more options and variety, and the kids will be involved a lot more. We’ll have a lot more sets and shifts, a more American-style offense.
“We need to take advantage of other team’s weaknesses instead of playing to their strengths.”
Former offensive coordinator Nat Nagy has returned to the Sun to help with both the running backs and offense in general.
Two rookies added to the offensive staff are quarterbacks coach Greg Patchell and receivers coach and former Sun player Tommy Howes. Both will assist Beatty and Nagy with the offensive game plan.
On the other side of the ball, ex-CFLer Mike Botterill will step in as the defensive co-ordinator while also serving as the linebackers coach for the second summer in a row.
Botterill takes over the Sun defense from Nathan Mollard who stepped aside to dedicate more time to his career.
“This defense was tops in the country the last two years, so there won’t be a lot of fixing to do,” said Botterill, 34. “It was great for me to be around them last year, to build relationships and get to know the kids.
“Coach Beatty has done a great job of training and preparing the players, so I’m looking forward to working with them again.”
Other newcomers to the staff include former CFL player Jamie Boreham (safeties), and ex-Sun players Jeff Mock (linebackers), Ben Simmons (defensive line) and Landon King (defensive backs).
Other returning coaches are: Ray Wheatley and Derek Kraft (O-line), Don Richmond (running backs), Andre Knights (defensive backs), Arron Goddard (linebackers) and Jeff Hunter (D-line).
“I like this group of coaches,” said Beatty. “We’ve got all areas of the ball club covered.”
Beatty and his 14-man staff will kick off training camp July 4.
The Sun will play its season opener Saturday, July 25 at home to the Westshore Rebels.
Two receivers signed…
The Sun has added a pair of highly-touted receivers to its 2015 roster—Shai Ross and Kyle Kawamoto.
Ross, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound speedster, comes to the Okanagan from Winnipeg
“This guy is made to fly,” Beatty said of Ross. “He’s a speed burner.”
Kawamoto is an SFU grad from North Vancouver who attended the CFL’s regional combine this spring in Edmonton.
“With these two guys, we’re just loaded at receiver,” Beatty added, “and then some.”